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Why Does My Dog Keep Licking His Lips [7 Possible Reasons]

Being a dog owner has perks; you enjoy your dog’s strange eccentricities.

One of the most strange behaviors is the dog licking his lips. 

And some people get worried thinking about why they’re doing it.

Why does my dog keep licking his lips?

Dogs lick their lips as a sign of nervousness. Lip licking is frequently an indication that your dog is unhappy or uneasy. Also, they can do it when they are uncomfortable and anxious. Again, after taking any toxic substance, they can show this behavior too.

Not convinced yet? This article will explain all the reasons behind your dog’s lip licking. 

Tag along for more information.

Why Does My Dog Keep Licking His Lips?

Due to their compassionate nature, dogs prefer to express their emotions to everyone.

Lip licking is often considered a behavior through which dogs communicate. But most of the time, this is not the case. 

I will explain the reasons to clarify the confusion surrounding a dog’s lip-licking.

Here are seven reasons why your dog licks its lips all the time.

Reason 1: Your Dog is Anxious

Dogs, like humans, may get anxious in certain conditions. Anxiety is a typical cause of dogs licking their lips. 

It might also serve as a signal of surrender. “I am not a threat to you”, your dog is practically stating this. 

They might also say, “please, do not injure me.” If you chastise your dog for some transgression, it may lick its lips. They’re attempting to say, “I’m sorry!”

As a result, we can observe this behavior when they encounter another dog. Also, when they feel a minor threat. 

We witnessed this behavior in the vet’s waiting room as well. Also, for instance, when certain dogs go to groomers or kennels.

Reason 2: Your Dog is Uncomfortable Or in Pain 

Specific medical issues in your dog may lead him to lick his lips excessively. Any problem that gives your pet discomfort causes him to lick his lips more often.

Other conditions that might produce excessive lip-licking include metabolic illnesses. This frequently may cause nausea and neurological ailments.

Reason 3: Irritant or Toxic Substance

Does your dog consume such a chemical, he may have excessive salivation or drooling. Then he may claw at his lips or wipe his face on the ground. If a foreign body is in a dog’s mouth, it might cause comparable symptoms.

They are frequently stuck between their molar teeth and across the roof of their mouth. You may notice a foul smell coming from your dog’s mouth. 

This happens if he has a foreign object caught somewhere in his mouth. These warning indications must be treated carefully.

Reason 4: Mouth and Teeth Problems

Oral pain and excessive salivation might result in lip-licking due to dental illness. It may also cause your dog to have dental issues like chattering teeth.

You may notice that he looks forward to food but then backs away because it hurts his mouth when he attempts to eat.

Oral ulcers or tumors in the mouth might also cause these symptoms. Your veterinarian will be able to examine your dog’s mouth and teeth. He can also address any problems that are identified.

Reason 5: Nausea Problem

This is frequently followed by an unwillingness to eat. Or, at the very least, a smaller appetite than usual. Nausea isn’t usually followed by vomiting, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for.

Your dog might appear to be experiencing nausea. Then it is recommended to request a comprehensive health check from your veterinarian. 

If left untreated, specific underlying causes of nausea might be hazardous. Dogs tend to sigh during these times. As a result, the sooner your dog sees your veterinarian, the better.

Reason 6: Neurological Issues

Some dogs get focal seizures, which are less spectacular than complete seizures and may go unnoticed. Focal seizures are distinguished by unusual behavior that lasts just a short period. 

Rather than the complete seizures or fits that most people are familiar with.

Lip licking is a typical symptom of a focal seizure in dogs. Combined with twitching and the appearance of capturing flies that only they can see.

If your pet is having focal seizures, your veterinarian can help. So bring them along as soon as possible to be checked.

Reason 7: Cognitive Dysfunction

Older dogs may feel disoriented and confused at times. Then they have difficulties with their mental talents and comprehension. 

This decline in cognitive performance might make individuals feel agitated and uncomfortable. They are blind to what is going on around them.

They may get disoriented at times. They may also require additional assistance. To continue to enjoy life as they once did. They frequently need less alone time. 

They also have the comfort of being surrounded by people. Or other dogs they are familiar with.

Lip licking in an elderly dog with cognitive impairment may indicate that they’re unsure of themselves in particular settings. Or they’re feeling uneasy or confused. 

When you detect this symptom, try to provide extra comfort and support.

3 Solutions to Prevent Dogs from Licking Their Lips

Now, we’ll show you three solutions to your dog’s issue. You can follow them carefully to keep your fur buddy safe.

Solution 1: Give Them a Toy

Try diverting your dog with a food-filled toy when you notice the habit. A good dog toy can keep your dog occupied and eliminate his boredom. I recommend these toys to keep your dog engaged:


It’s a fun toy for your dog. Let him play with these toys to pass his time happily. This will also help to solve the licking problem.

Solution 2: Exercise 

As you are its owner, you have to keep your dog happy. Let your dog sit on you occasionally and pet him to give him company. 

You can take your dog out for a walk. Spend time with him, feed him. These will help to decrease the licking problem.

Solution 3: Take Your Dog to a Vet

You must take your dog to a vet if it’s a medical problem. The vet will diagnose your dog and give the necessary explanations to prevent the problem.

We hope the solutions will work to prevent them from licking their lips.


Why does my dog snore loudly?  

Dogs snore when airflow is impeded in the nasal passages or throat. This is normal and might be triggered by your dog lying on his back. 

Why do dogs chew their paws and nails?

Allergens in the air can cause severe itching. To alleviate atopy itching, dogs lick and gnaw their paws. 

Why does my dog roll on his back?

Dogs roll on their backs to express submissiveness or trust. As well as to defend themselves while fighting. They may also roll on toys, food, or anything else.